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At a dinner at the London Coffee-House, our author met Mr. SAMUEL WESLEY, Who told him many anecdotes of his uncle John, the celebrated founder of the Methodists, and in the midst of their port and claret, called for a pen and ink, and wrote the following lines upon the death of WHITFIELD, which have never before been published:
Here is a passage or two of geology. The writer has been describing an interview with Mr. DAVID BOOTH, a Scottish literary friend:
'In his terse broad Scotch, my literary friend said, ' Are ye tied to Mooses's account of the creation? By no means,' said 1. Then I'll show ye a very curious book upon China, in which the histories of that autique country go back more than six thousand years. As a proof of their authenticity, in every king's reign is set down the celestial phenomena, as they occurred, and which, upon tracing back, is found to be a correct account of the motions of the heavenly bodies, and demonstrates, to a certainty, the truth of these records. There can be no doubt of that nation being in a high state of civilization before the time from which Moses dates the creation of the world. They have, however, histories that run back more than thirty thousand years, but these are so mixed with fable that they cannot be depended upon.'
In a conversation with Dr. Lardner, stating how much we were indebted to the discoveries in geology, demonstrating the antiquity of the earth, he replied, that we need not resort to geology to prove the fact: for, as it regards the creation of the heavenly bodies, it could be proved that the fixed stars are at such an immense distance, that, notwithstanding light moves at the rate of a hundred thousand miles per second, it would take three hundred thousand years for a ray of it to travel through space ere it reached the earth; so that the stars we now see must have been created more than three hundred thousand years ago.'
Mr. GARDINER Would seem to have been rather raw, on his first visit to London; for being in the gallery of the House of Commons, listening to SHERIDAN, PITT, and Fox, he became so excited by the oratory of the latter, that he vociferated an uproarious 'Bravo!' to the great scandal of the house and the speaker, who despatched a sergeant-at-arms to bring the offender to the bar, for the gross breach of privilege of which he had been guilty. The Prince of Wales, whom the importance of the debate had brought into the house, commiserating the young man's situation, waved the officer away with his hand; but the gallery was cleared; and as the innocent cause of the summary movement passed through the crowd, he heard execrations, and mutterings not loud but deep, against the deep damnation of their violent 'taking off. Many years after, he was shown into the traveller's room of an inn in the south of England, where a gentleman was inveighing against the rustic, whose folly in calling out 'bravo!' caused him to be turned out of the gallery of the House of Commons, on a remote occasion, while Fox was speaking. Our author kept his countenance, and joined in the laugh.
The subjoined presents a very striking sketch of the commencement and completion of a work of art, which will immortalize the name of the intrepid artist:
When I visited Sir R. Phillips, in Bridge-street, in 1821, every morning, when I rose, I was interested in viewing the habitation of Quaker Horner, at the top of St. Paul's. When the cross was taken down to be re-gilt and repaired, this enterprising young artist, through the influence of George the Fourth, obtained permission to build a small wooden house on the scaffold poles that VOL. XIII. 22
rose above the site of the cross, for the purpose of sketching the panoramic view or London, now exhibited in the Colosseum. After a stormy night, it was with trepidation that I opened my bedroom shutters, lest the structure should have been blown away from its frightful elevation. When the weather was calm and bright, I had great pleasure, with a telescope, in watching some of their domestic operations. As we breakfasted about the same time with our neighbors in the clouds, I was sure to see the contents of the slop-basin thrown out of the little sash window upon the dome below. The laborious toil of the artist in ascending the stair-cases and ladders to reach his aerial dwelling, and the attendant danger, so often repeated, would have damped the ardor of most men. 'On entering the cathedral at three in the morning, the stillness of the streets,' says Mr. Horner, 'contrasted with the mid-day bustle, was only surpassed by the sepulchral stillness of the cathedral. But not less impressive at this early hour, was the immense sceue from this lofty summit. Without any indication of animated existence, it was interesting to mark the gradual symptoms of returning life, until the rising sun vivified the whole into activity, bustle, and business. The weather was frequently so boisterous, during the stormy summer of 1821, as to frustrate the contrivance for security, and it was difficult to obtain workmen, at a high remuneration, to repair the scaffolding and machinery. This will not appear surprising, when it is known that, during the high winds, it was impossible for a person to stand, without clinging to the frame-work. The creaking, whistling of the timbers, was like a ship laboring in a storm; during a squall, a great part of the heavy planks were carried away over the house-tops to a considerable distance. At this moment the observatory was torn from its fastening, and turned partly over the edge of the platform. The fury of the wind rendered the door impassable, and an outlet was obtained by forcing a passage on the opposite side.' Mr. Horner, with an unparalleled degree of courage, surmounted all these difficulties, and finished his sketch of the metropolis upon two hundred and eighty sheets of drawingpaper, comprising a surface of six hundred and eighty square feet, and as long as the Colosseum lasts, his name will be perpetuated.'
Dining one day with those two splendid fellows, CHERRY and CHARLES MATTHEWS,' our author tells us, the former gave as a toast, after some political discussion, 'May men of principle be our principal men;' and the latter, May our future time be pastime.' It may be proper here, 'speaking of actors,' to mention a system of audience-packing, which would be a novelty, we think, in the theatres of this country. The operation of being 'screwed in,' is ‘effected by placing the back of the person against a powerful engine, opposite one of the doors, which forces him into the pit, where, so close are the people wedged together, when the screw is in motion, that its action may be felt in the remotest part.' What an eligible situation for a DANIEL LAMBERT! - what a machine to pack a jury! The description of PAGANINI's first appearance in London is not without interest. There also might you see 'packing:'
I was present when Paganini made his first appearance in the Opera House, and the crowd that surrounded the doors at an early hour, consisted entirely of composers and musicians. The eagerness was much increased by two previous disappointments; Paganini not daring for some time to come before an English audience. I got in, at the hazard of my bones, and the house was filled in an instant; hundreds being left in the street. I stood next to Mr. Venua, of Cambridge, and a Scotchman, who had come from Edinburgh, and was more fortunate than Venua, who had made an unsuccessful journey the week before. We stood in breathless anxiety until the Signor made his appearance. As his gaunt figure glided from the side scenes to the front of the stage, involuntary shouts burst from all parts of the house; many rising from their seats to view the spectre. His appearance was more like a devotee about to suffer martyrdom, than one to delight you with his art; he was evidently in great trepidation, but gained confidence as the thunders of applause and cheering continued.'
Mr. GARDINER records, from Dr. PARR's own lips, that celebrated scholar's rebuke of Sir JAMES MACKINTOSH, who had said that O'COIGHLY richly deserved his fate, since it was impossible to conceive of a greater scoundrel.' 'By no means, Jamie,' said the Doctor; it is very possible to conceive of a greater scoundrel. He was an Irishman; he might have been a Scotchman: he was a priest; he might have been a lawyer: he was a traitor; he might have been an apostate! The following is characteristic:
The Doctor was very proud of his bells and his choir, and always encouraged them to sing a long hymn or an anthem before sermon, during which he used to steal into the vestry and get his pipe. When they had done, the clerk informed him, and, if the Doctor had not finished, he would say, John, tell them to sing the two last verses over again; my people love singing, and I love smoking. It mattered not what part of the service he was in, his colloquial style would now and then break out. A farming man, coming in rather late, the Doctor stopped short, and said, John, how many times am I to tell you not to stump up the aisle in those hob-nailed shoes?"
Our author seems not to have been altogether free from the 'ducks and nods which weak minds pay to rank,' yet he gives us a fearless and most pitiable picture of George the Third, in his saddle, reviewing the Oxford Blues at Windsor, in 1805: A more deplorable object surely never was seen. His countenance was imbecile, and his look
vacant. The ribbon with which the horse's main was plaited, immediately caught his attention, and he expressed his delight by saying, 'Pretty blue ribbons! - pretty blue ribbons! After indulging in the rocking motion of his horse for some time, he could scarcely be coaxed to move on in line, but stopped and chatted inanely with the common soldiers in the ranks. 'Look on that picture, and then on this,' the best and briefest we have yet encountered of the coronation of VICTORIA:
'At ten o'clock, the cannon announced that the Queen had stepped into her carriage at the palace, and at eleven the cannon again informed us of her arrival at the abbey-door. The heralds, marshals, and men-at-arms, in their stiff coats of gold, flew to the entrance to form the procession. The excitement had been increasing from eight to eleven. Interesting and beautiful, the Queen walked alone, followed by the maids of honor, dressed in white satin and brilliants, with circlets of roses mingled with green leaves upon their heads, holding, nearly breast high, the superb train she drew after her; then came the ladies of the bed-chamber, in rich dresses of cerulean blue, with bandeaus of diamonds, and ostrich feathers on their heads.' 'At
the moment the Queen had arrived upon the platform, and was handed to a chair of state by her uncle, the Duke of Sussex, the sun showered down his beams upon her. It was a dramatic scene of pomp and grandeur, too lofty for language to represent. I looked steadfastly at her, when seated, and saw, by the tremulous glitter of dianionds upon her breast, that she was agitated, and nearly overcome with the splendor that surrounded her. The music was the service of the church, as performed in the cathedrals, solemo and grand, heightened in its effects by a band of one hundred and fifty instrumental performers, and nearly three hundred voices. The parts usually sung by a single voice, were performed by six of the most eminent English singers to each part. During the performance of Handel's anthem, describing the crowning of King Solomon, the Queen was conducted by her ladies behind the purple and gold tapestry, into Henry the Seventh's Chapel, where she was robed for her coronation. She soon returned, under a canopy of gold. It then wauted three minutes to two o'clock. A telegraphic communicaton was made from the floor through the roof, and a rocket announced that the crown was placed on her head. The cannon instantly thundered from the Park and the Tower, and the five hundred instruments and voices poured forth The Queen shall rejoice in her strength, for the Lord hath set a crown of pure gold on her head.' At the same instant, like an electrical flash, four hundred peers and peeresses crowned themselves with the corouets they held in their hands. It was a burst of grandeur, of surpassing splendor, too mighty to be described.'
A better story of hypochondria than even 'The Turned Head' of the 'London Physician,' is that of a patient of a medical friend of the author's, who imagined he had a leg of mutton hanging to his nose, and walked nearly double, to prevent the dangling joint from hitting his knees. The cure was simple. He was taken into a dark room, where a person was stationed with the reality, and on cutting off just the tip of his nose, the mutton was let fall on the floor. On opening the window-shutters, the patient was convinced he had got rid of his load, and walked in an upright posture ever afterward. An anecdote, too, well worth recording, is that related of HAYDN, the great composer, who on one occasion went into a music-store, in Leicester, and after looking at a variety of his own pieces, said he wanted something better. Do you see they are by HAYDN?' asked the shop-keeper, a fervent admirer of that artist. 'Well, Sir, I do,' was the reply; 'but I wish for something better.' 'Better!' indignantly cried the enthusiastic amateur; a gentleman of your taste I am not anxious to serve ;' and he was turning away, when the 'hard customer' made known that he was HAYDN himself.
The following is well authenticated of JOHN BUNYAN. While in Bedford jail, he was called upon by a Quaker, desirous of making a convert of him. 'Friend John,' said he, 'I am come to thee with a message from the LORD; and after having searched for thee in half the prisons in England, I am glad I have found thee at last.' 'If the LORD had sent you,' returned BUNYAN, you need not have taken so much pains to find me out; for the LORD knows I have been here these twelve years.' As a marked and pleasant contrast of character, we will close this already too greatly extended 'Salmagundi' with a condensed passage in the history of SIR LUMLEY SKIFFINGTON, author of the 'Point of Honor,' and ci devant prime leader of the fashions with the whipped cream of the London beau-monde. He was once disturbed in the night by the information that the adjoining house was on fire; he voted the necessity of moving a 'very great bore,' and vowed with vows he would not stir; and when at last in the street, in his Turkish night-gown, and hair in papers, he greatly amused the by-standers and busy firemen, by calling out: What are these horrid creatures about, with so much filthy water, that I cannot step, without wetting my slippers!'
AMERICAN QUarterlies. We have the two prominent American reviews, for the January quarter, the 'New-York' and the 'North-American,' before us, but are compelled to 'speak them shortly.' They are both good numbers; at least, both contain three or four papers of unusual excellence. The first article in the last-named work we take from internal evidence to be from the competent pen of our consul at Rome, an old contributor to these pages, of whose literary qualities it were superfluous to speak. It is a review of MICALI on the ancient Italians, and describes their origin, the first steps toward civilization, the Pelasgi and Etruscans, with their science and literature, their arts of war and peace, agriculture, etc. The article is both entertaining and instructive, in all its details. The review of STEPHENS' 'Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petræa,' etc., is said to be from the hand of Hon. LEWIS CASS; and of this we think there can be no doubt. It is a very cordial and elaborate notice of this excellent and most popular work, rendered doubly valuable from the fact, that the reviewer himself followed our author through most of the interesting scenes which he has not less happily than vividly described. Justice is done to, and a clear synopsis given of, the 'Life of Father Marquette,' which forms the tenth volume of 'SPARKS' Library of American Biography;' and high praise is awarded, in another article, to DUPONCEAU'S volume on the nature and character of the Chinese system of writing.' Those of our readers who remember the valuable and interesting papers upon the 'Chinese Nations and Languages,' contributed to the KNICKERBOCKER by the author of the work in question, will not be surprised to learn, that an adequate judge has pronounced it 'undoubtedly one of the most remarkable publications of the present day.' The remaining articles are, 'Nautical Discovery in the Northwest,' 'BOWDITCH's translation of the 'Mécanique Céleste,' 'International Copyright,' and the usual series of brief critical notices.
THE NEW-YORK REVIEW is enriched with an article upon the poetry of WORDSWORTH, that well deserves the place of honor which it occupies. It is a consideration and analysis of the genius and productions of a gifted poet, who has but just began to enjoy that renown which will carry his name, full of honors, down to future ages. The comments upon the labors of WORDSWORTH evince a duc appreciation of the bent of his mind, and the character of his inspirations; and were the paper of a more moderate length, this commentary, together with the extracts, which are made with good taste, would insure conviction to many a doubter, whom we fear will not now encounter a semi-dissertation and review, of such formidable extent. The second article is upon the Geological Survey of New-York,' and embodies a great variety of useful and interesting geological facts, and bares to the day the riches with which the earth teems, in the empire state. Passing a well written dissertation on ‘Rituals,' another, displaying much research, and replete with valuable information, upon Steam Navigation of the Ocean,' and a review of an elementary treatise on sound, we come to an article on the writings of CARLYLE, which discriminates judiciously between the good and the blameworthy, in summing up the merits and characteristics of this remarkable writer. It has become fashionable, with many small littérateurs in this country, to prate of the 'invisible and non-existent,' which our author has evoked, and the mysteries of nature' which he 'spiritualizes into ideal forms,' what time he 'lulls the universe to sleep, that he may look at it,' and such like nonsense. These literary pauper-parvenus, incapable of the redeeming thought, seize the faults of CARLYLE's style, and having clothed their meagre conceptions in this stolen garb, fancy they have become Germanized into the 'inner soul' of Professor TEUFELSDRÖCK's best manner. A very sound and able criticism of COOPER's last works, concludes with a paragraph on that writer's style, in which the critic observes: 'Had we aimed at a literary criticism of these works, we should have had frequent occasion to point out verbal inaccuracies, such as the repeated use of understandingly, which does not belong to our language; of bluff, which is known only as a maritime word; of imperious, instead of imperative, and
many others.' Now, despite the ability with which this review is written, this lastquoted sentence is nonsense: nay, it is worse than nonsense; for it is untrue, and of course unjust. 'Understandingly not an English word!' Preposterous! Indeed, this remark is so infinitely absurd, that we hope, in mere charity, the editors will be able to say in their next number that it is a misprint, or some mistake. 'Bluff known only as a maritime word!' Let the reviewer consult old SAM. JOHNSON, where he will find himself doubly in error; for bluff is there, but maritime is NOT! 'Imperious instead of imperative;' perhaps so, perhaps not. The criticism lacks force, because it lacks specification: the reviewer's assertion, after three such blunders as we have pointed out, will not suffice; and the same remark will apply to the imputation of the last two words of the sentence quoted, viz: 'many others.' If the 'many others' are like those cited, Mr. COOPER need not be ashamed of them. We have as little charity for Mr. COOPER's faults as any one; but we do not see the propriety, justice, or taste, of falsely accusing him of error. Fifty-two minor critical notices compose the eighth article proper, and with a 'Quarterly Chronicle,' close the number.
THE SUBLIME AND RIDICULOUS.' We have remarked, within a twelvemonth or so, some two or three notices of the gifted BRAINARD, and his productions; but in none of them have we seen allusion made to one of the most admirable sketches that ever proceeded from his felicitous pen. We yield to none in our estimate of the touching fragments, free from any tincture of affectation, from the same source, which have worked out their gentle triumphs in the hearts of so many readers; but for the following exquisite mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous, which is not included in the earlier edition of BRAINARD's works, we must express a superabundant admiration. It is entitled 'The Captain, a Fragment,' and was suggested by the subjoined passage in the ship-news of a Bridgeport, (Conn.) journal: 'Arrived, schooner FAME, from Charleston, via. New-London. While riding at anchor, during the storm on Thursday evening last, the Fame was run foul of by the wreck of the Methodist meeting-house, from Norwich, which was carried away in the late freshet.' What a skeleton-text is this for the magnificent descriptive soliloquy which ensues, and how rich the contrast which its change embodies:
SOLEMN he paced upon that schooner's deck,
Of Labrador; and I have scraped my keel ·
Cat-head, or beam, or davit, has it none,
I cannot even speak it! Up jib, Josey,
And make for Bridgeport! There, where Stratford Point,
Long Beach, Fairweather Island, and the buoy,
Are safe from such encounters, we'll protest!